That’s my horse, no it’s not, yes it is…

Some day’s jokes are funny even without knowing the rest of the story; well then again I do know the rest of the story. Let’s just say that I know someone who may be trying to challenge me for the worst ability to recognize a horse.

If anyone remembers from the last entry, I said for us to get out to the beautiful Rebecca Farm Event it takes about 10 hours of driving with a truck and trailer. On the way back from the Event, the plan was for Amy to fly out east with Leyland and for Lauren and Shelby to drive the rest of the gang back home. As for my grand plan, I was to be blissfully cruising home in our car listening to music and arriving about two hours sooner than the equine convoy. Well, I pretty much can guarantee if I think I know how long something is going to take as it relates to horses, I must be doing drugs.

For those aspiring working students and assistant wannabees, here is your warning, you had better be flexible, and remember the first words that come to your mind just may not be the best ones to say. So, the horses, all 16 plus, got to the airport at 0600. Now imagine, counting backwards, when you have to start moving to get all of that equipment and animals 15 miles away. Jeez, again with seeing the “first tendrils of light streaking across the sky…” stuff. Yes, 4 o’clock is early in the Mountain Time Zone too. Somewhere in the middle of the night Amy started not feeling well. This is where Lauren gets to practice flexibility and mouth shut skills. She quickly threw her dirty clothes into a smaller bag, climbed on the plane with Leyland and jetted off for another grand adventure. Of course she did get to sleep…

I wanted to take a moment to comment on the flexibility and mouth shut skills thing lest you think I am some sort of thug or something. I say these are needed skills beyond just the obvious, i.e. in an hour you have to be on a plane (not to mention stay employed); because our attitudes affect everyone around us. If you are prepared to be flexible and roll with the punches, funny enough it usually never seems so bad. Why is that? Well, usually because those around you see you making the best of a tough situation, and they pitch in to give you a hand. On the other hand, if you are whinny and complaining, I can pretty much assure you the old hands at this process will delight in torturing you for their own amusement.

Off we go… on our way home. Again, thinking I still have it made, listening to music in a car that goes faster that the equine convoy, woohoo. About an hour later, I get the call, “where you at?” “Just coming down the hill…” (by the way, there are a lot of those in western Montana.) So let me set the scene for you: Amy is driving a really big trailer with a pick-up, thank you Bickford Ford… Shelby and my nephew are driving in a smaller trailer and pick-up (don’t know where it came from, sorry…); and then there is little old me in “Smarty” our hybrid SUV. Should have known it was too good to last. New plan, Shelby stays driving the smaller trailer and pick-up, Jayson, the nephew, drives Smarty; and Greg, oh god, drives the really big trailer and pick-up. I could be all macho and say that I have driven a 68,000 pound fire department ladder truck and because of that I am a manly man and that it correlates to the same thing, it don’t, and I ain’t (Sorry for the “ain’t” Mrs. Windom!) Just to make sure everyone is clear here, I don’t do stalls and I don’t drive trailers. There needs to be a separation between Church and State after all. The last thing that compared to this was driving by myself to Winnipeg, Canada after the 1999 Pan Am’s with Amy’s truck and trailer in order to bring her and Pogi home from the Games.

I do not know how many of you have ever driven your spouse’s vehicle with some of the most dearest objects on the earth to them in it (and you are on the list, just not at the top at the moment), and to top it off they are throwing up every 15 minutes, for 10 hours straight. I can only say she was patient and thank god I am not a sympathetic puker…

As we got near home, with Amy not looking like she felt an ounce better, I decide to stop by our local free-standing ER (free only means it is not attached to a hospital, and in no way, shape or form is it free!) 3 or 4 hours later, 3 pissed off horses (it could have been worse, but Shelby came and got them so they were home long before we left the ER), Costco Corporate calling the ASPCA on me for leaving the horses in the trailer (again have you seen this trailer?, I’m thinking of moving in…), and one damaged car apparently…and we left for home without Amy feeling any better. I am using this semi-national forum to apologize to the owners of the vehicle that I apparently hit and then left the scene of (3 or 4 hours later) without leaving my contact information. Thankfully they had video of me, the truck and the trailer; tied it to the ER records and found me, with the help of the Issaquah Police of course… My stomach still churns thinking that I did that to someone; and even as embarrassed as I am, I am okay with people knowing; after all I like being called a boy scout. Perhaps I should have been Catholic; I’ve got the guilt thing down.

We had four more days of doctor visits to re-hydrate from the stomach bug. So, where Lauren thought she would just be spending a day or two on the East Coast, turned into two-and-a-half weeks by the time Amy got back there. Life is never simple, there were more doctors and oh yeah, attorneys too (and no, not due to the car issue, thankfully.) Apparently Lauren found a really cool thrift store; oh excuse me, “Consignment Shop”. That kept her entertained at least. Again, I owe Max, Karen and David a huge thank you for taking care of our homeless workers, and now Amy.

To prove this is really a blog about Amy and Leyland getting to the WEG here is a picture of them on the trailer headed to the Richland Park Event in Michigan from Virginia. It sounds like they have a full load in the truck: Amy, Karen, Max, Shelby and three dogs… I think I am glad I am at home right about now.

Leyland and a good portion of the short listed horses have been getting lessons from the US Team coaches in dressage and show jumping in the Middleburg area. Richland Park and the AECs are final tune ups for the upcoming mandatory outing, a last chance to get in the proper form that will turn the selectors heads as it were.

One of the great parts of seeing Amy in pictures, for me at least, is that I usually find my missing clothing items…

Amy seems to be happy with Leyland and how he’s going. As the stress starts to build, a happy horse makes for a happy wife and a happy wife makes for a happy husband. I am trying to “sneak” out to the Richland Park Event to check up on the gang. I have my shifts covered at work, dogs are going to get an extended play date, the barn appears to be standing for the moment, the latest round of bills paid, better go now! I will send pictures and comments from the event. I do hope the weather is pleasantly mild for this time of year there… yes, I am an optimist.

Of course while “Mom” is away working with the horse and trying to make the US Team; Dad stays home dealing with an obstinate Terrier that is none too pleased that she is not involved with this horse trip…

Last time, I made a comment that said it wasn’t really me writing this blog. It would have been funnier, cuter and made a whole lot more sense if the picture of Jasmine sitting at the computer had made it in the entry. So here she is…

One of my fears in writing these blogs (beyond people not reading it) is that I do not want to come across to people as though I think our lives are more difficult than anyone else’s as we work towards goals that are all self inflicted challenges as it were. So in between work, hospital stays, doctors’ visits, attorneys and the rest of stuff called life, I wanted to mark the death of a dear colleague, Firefighter Tom Stapleton. I want to give my wish for peaceful hearts and minds to his family and friends. God bless you Thomas, rest in peace, we miss your smile dearly.

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11 comments on “That’s my horse, no it’s not, yes it is…
  1. Jill B. says:

    Greg, don’t worry, I read your blog. It is entertaining. I am a horse trainers wife, so I “get it.” You’re right, it pays to be flexible.

    At least your horse trailer caravan didn’t blow two tires on the way home! As my hubby was on the way home from a a show this weekend, two of the three trailers in the caravan blew tires. Ours did not. (We actually get our trailer checked-out each year. What a novel concept, not driving on dry-rotted tires!) Luckily hubby had all the tire changing equipment that was needed, as they did not!!

    Good luck to Amy in her quest for the WEG team and good luck on your blogs!!! (I hope she is over the stomach bug.)

  2. SBergin says:

    Awesome post. I love reading them, and I look forward to reading your book one day :)

  3. Maggie says:

    Love your posts, Greg. Thank you! I totally agree- you should write a book.

  4. Melissa P says:

    All in all, sounds like a great trip – except the emergency room part! Oh and the trashing someone else’s car, and the…..all in a week’s adventure! Good Luck Amy!

  5. glenn b says:

    Oh you always try to make everyone else feel good and I love you for it. I had spine surgery last week and returned home from the hospital with the latest viral combination caught from mr doctor courtesy of his wife who wen shopping at Macys in NY and brought it home to me via him.Lastly my horse is trying to founder and my hubby is out tending to the horses because I cant. Keep on keeping on and keep Amy away from Macys

  6. Greg and Amy we are so proud of you guys and how hard you work. We know it is your time and will have great success. Just let us know if we can help out. If Amy needs her personel medic to fly in let us know. Hay in the barn, CAN DO. clean a stall, I will defer to Mary. Take care and have fun, you both deserve it

    • Greg says:

      Rich, I need to you to keep on deferring on the stall work! If you crumble, I may have to start mucking stalls… I shudder to think. Thank you guys for the well wishes, very much appreciated.

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